Sunday Morning Coffee: Holy, Holy, Holy!

I’ve been working on my own version of this grand old hymn of praise to God. The assignment is to incorporate the 2 (9) of the scale into the music. That’s not as complicated as it may sound.

The first note on the keyboard above is a C. The second white key is a D. If you continue counting just the white keys until you reach another C, that is an octave, or eight notes. The next note, another D, is now the ninth key you will count. These D notes are not traditionally used in this song, since they were considered dissonant in western music. However, used carefully, they don’t clash; instead, they add some color and richness to the harmony. So that’s the music theory part of my song, but what I’m enjoying even more is that I’m becoming reacquainted with the lyrics of this great hymn, which I grew up singing often. Sadly, we don’t use it a lot today. We should.

Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning
Our song shall rise to Thee
Holy, holy, holy!
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
Blessed Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy!
Though the darkness hide Thee
Though the eye of sinful man
Thy glory may not see
Only Thou art holy
There is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love and purity
Holy, holy, holy!
Lord God Almighty
All Thy works shall praise Thy name
In earth and sky and sea
Holy, holy, holy!
Merciful and mighty
God in three persons
Blessed Trinity
Oh God in three persons
Blessed Trinity!

Sunday Morning Coffee: No Politics!

When I first started writing this blog almost 13 years ago, I promised the Lord I would not use it as a political forum. I’ve tried very hard to keep that promise, occasionally writing and deleting whole paragraphs over something that was bothering me.

There are two major reasons for avoiding politics in this blog. First, it’s a Bible study. The primary purpose here is to learn about God’s Word. Getting into the political realm would start a fire that would destroy the blog.

Second, I will not allow this blog to become a battleground littered with cursing, name-calling, accusation and counter-accusation. We call ourselves a civilized nation, but on the rare occasions in which I scan comments on some political article or the other, I find there is very little civil comment.

This is nothing new. It is not a creation of American politics. It has existed ever since Satan made a speech to Eve about it not being fair that she wasn’t equal to God.

We have chosen to step over the line from legitimate debate to personal attacks and vilification. I won’t let that start here, nor will I post ugly comments that are designed to start arguments that are not resolvable.

Do I discuss politics? Oh yes! I have strong convictions in that arena. But not here. This is not the place for it.

And that’s all.

Sunday Morning Coffee: April

The last day of April! Seems to have come very quickly, and it’s going out just about the same way it came in. Except that we have dogwoods blooming, and our azaleas are slowly opening up. Tulips still thrive, but daffodils are resting until next year. I have big buds on my peonies, and the iris are showing signs of life. Spring is certainly a time of hope!

While a friends in Canada reported lots of snow, we were having days of 80+ degrees. That didn’t last for us. It’s been quite cool for the past few days. Not exactly summer yet 🙂

I saw a post today that Nebraska has over-ridden the governor’s veto of a law that defines what a woman is, what a man is. It is aimed at protecting the intimate spaces set aside for women–bathrooms, showers, women’s sports. I’m glad they over-rode her veto. She said she was afraid the bill would cause harm and bring lawsuits by biological males who want access to women’s facilities, including shelters where women and children can find protection from violent partners.

I was thinking about how my grandparents would have reacted to this controversy. They would have been shocked. They would have had a hard time understanding how a biological male could claim he was female, even though he was still endowed with male genitalia.

The bill does make allowance for babies whose sexual identity is ambivalent at birth. That is, there is evidence of both male and female genitalia. That is a totally different situation than a fully grown male claiming to suddenly be a female, even though he clearly isn’t. Some of these men have successfully managed a transfer to women’s prisons, and the reports of sexual assault against the female inmates have already started. It’s like putting a full-grown adult into the middle of a children’s playground. The playground, then, belongs to the adult.

Call me old-fashioned. I don’t care. My Bible says God created them “male and female.” It does not include “or whatever they decide to be.”

I’ll admit, there have been times–not many, but a few–when I’ve wished I were a man. Those times generally came during social gatherings, when the men talked politics or biblical matters while the women exchanged recipes and discussed babies, pregnancy, and childhood diseases. The men were more interesting!

But I have never wanted to BE a man. I am happy and content as God created me, thankful that my godly husband is responsible under God for the leadership of our family and that I can find security in following his leadership.

And by the way, real men don’t go around demanding they be respected just because they are men. I met one like that when I was in college. He was annoying. Real men don’t demand respect; they earn it and never take it for granted.

Sunday Morning Coffee: A Puzzle

Why it is it that I sleep well most nights, but on Saturday night insomnia sets in? I need to be up by six on Sunday morning, which is, I admit, the only day of the week I’m up that early. I went to bed by 9:30 last night, finally fell asleep around 11:30, slept well until 6, so I’m good to go today.

Is it the devil keeping me awake? Is it my personal objection to being up before daylight sets in?

For so many years, I was up at 5 a.m. to get showered and have my coffee and devotions before the rest of the family started stirring. Of course, that was nearly 30 years ago when I was still full of energy. I was teaching full-time, had four kids still at home, and Terry had an over-the-road trucking job. So when I did get to bed, I usually was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Maybe it’s because I’m just not as active as I was back then. But if that’s the case, why do I sleep well most nights?

I slept well when, 25 years ago, I went back to school for a master’s degree. I slept well when I was working as a psychotherapist. It’s really been since I retired that I’ve begun to struggle with insomnia.

Huh. Maybe I should go back to work.

Yeah. No.

That would not go well.

Maybe, after three months of sickness and inactivity, I just need to work at building up my strength and do more here at home. There’s never a lack of work to do.

Anyway, there are my early Sunday morning musings. Sometimes there just isn’t a lot to say, but I’ve finished my coffee, and I need to get myself ready to go 🙂

Sunday Morning Coffee: What If?

What if Jesus had not risen from death? What if His body had stayed in the tomb?

If He had not risen, then the victory would have been incomplete.

His death was the required sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. It was victory over sin.

But if He had not risen, He would have been just another Jewish man crucified by Rome. He would still be dead.

His resurrection is victory over death! It makes His death the most important one in the history of all mankind, because He, and only He, has the power over death itself. His death gives us the victory over sin; His resurrection gives us the victory over death.

He’s Alive! Because He lives, we can live also! But it’s not automatic. To claim the victory over sin and death, one must acknowledge sin, believe in Him, and accept His gift of salvation and eternal life. It is a conscious decision made in understanding. It is not conferred passive recipients who have no knowledge of sin. It is His gift, but if there is no recipient of the gift, it is useless.

Please come to Jesus today. Nothing would make Him rejoice like having souls seek Him today.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Old Friends

Last night we spend a few hours with a group of long-time friends, going back over 40 years. It was so good to see them, sharing memories as well as catching up in the here-and-now. There were some people there that we didn’t know, but we do now. New friends. You know the old saying: “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold.”

I’m thinking of two songs this morning:

Sunday Morning Coffee: Sigh!

Well, I’m not as “over it” as I thought I was. Cold symptoms are gone, but this lingering fatigue is driving me nuts. And I don’t want to focus on that, so I decided to switch my perspective. It is often helpful to focus on the positive 🙂

I have the freedom to rest and sleep when I’m sick. No children to care for. No job demanding my presence. A comfortable house and well-stocked freezer and pantry. A husband who is willing to step in when I just don’t want to cook. Family and friends who check in on me and pray for me.

I have my laptop, my Bible, and handwork to occupy my time–between catnaps. Along with a stack of other reading I need to do. Of course, reading tends to make me sleepy 🙂

I also have good medical care, with good insurance, if the need arises.

So I can handle being extra tired, for however long it takes. My Father knows all about it!

12:09 p.m: PS:

A friend of mine has a granddaughter who is in the hospital for a bad case of mono. The penny dropped when I read that. I’ve had mono before, and that’s what this feels like. Not bad enough to see a doctor, so it’s not a definite diagnosis, but it makes me feel better just to think I have an answer 🙂

Sunday Morning Coffee: Random Thoughts

I just read yet another article about a young, healthy teen who “died suddenly” while playing flag football. We see that phrase almost daily over the past several months, yet NO ONE in the MSM is making the obvious connection to a certain “medical” procedure that has been required and pushed on us over the last couple of years.

Our weather here in my corner of PA has been quite mild, but we’re only eight days into January. It’s very grey out there today. Looks like snow clouds to me. (I just glanced out my window to see clear blue skies! That changed quickly!)

Did you ever wonder why snow clouds are grey and not white? Why rain clouds range from grey to black, but are not clear? Me neither. Just popped into my head this minute.

Did you ever wonder where weird dreams come from? Last night or early this morning I had a most disturbing dream that Opie Taylor was beaten nearly to death by his neigborhood “pals.” Ugly and scary, and not in the least believable.

Did you ever wonder why words come pouring out of your mouth that you KNOW you shouldn’t say? That you know won’t help anything, won’t do any good, and will probably come right back at you with a vengeance? Yeah, me too.

There is a simple answer that is very difficult to maintain. We are all born with the nature to sin. It is inherent in our genes. Thank you, Adam and Eve. You know, though, that if they hadn’t sinned, their eldest son Cain did. God created us with the will to choose, because He wanted us to choose to love Him and follow Him.

Even when we make that choice, though, we are still imbued with the nature to sin. The difference, after we have chosen to follow Him, is that we can go to Him in repentance and be forgiven. To resist our so-called “besetting sin,” whatever it may be, is to war with our own nature and with Satan, who is always willing to step in and help us resist what we know to be right.

Maybe your own struggle is not with words, although it’s hard for me to imagine any normal person doesn’t struggle with that temptation now and then. Maybe it’s your thought life; maybe it’s what you read, or see on TV or in the movie theater. Maybe it’s pride. Maybe it’s indulging physical appetites in whatever it is you love. Maybe it’s holding bitterness against someone who hurt you long ago, and you just can’t–won’t–let it rest. Words have long been my stock in trade, so of course one of my biggest battles lies there.

Sometimes it is safer, wiser, more godly, to just say. . . . .. .nothing! Now, there’s a thought 🙂

With that, I’ve run out of random thoughts.

Sunday Morning Coffee: New Year IN!

If the weather is a harbinger of the New Year, it’s going to be wonderful! Here in my corner of PA, we have heartbreak-blue skies, and a mild temp of 44, rising to 53 for today’s high. For January, that’s more than okay 🙂

Some of my friends are wishing for this:

There was a time I would have wanted lots of snow, but not so much nowadays. I’m happy with clear roads, no icy places. The snow and ice will come soon enough.

I think Sunday is a great day to have New Year’s Day! A perfect day for new beginnings, or old beginnings dusted off and reconfirmed.

Please, Lord, may the churches be full this morning. May Your grace pour down upon us today and every day of the coming year!